COVID-19

AFP via telesur

Immigrant rights groups held a virtual press conference on August 13 condemning the use of a chemical disinfectant at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in the Mojave Desert. A lawsuit asking for the release of all detainees was filed in April due to coronavirus concerns, and now members of Congress are calling for an investigation. 

Advocates say they started receiving calls from detainees in May reporting symptoms. They allege they came into contact with a hazardous chemical staff were using in unventilated areas to disinfect for COVID-19.

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In the spring, as COVID-19 halted the economy, automobile use plummeted. And so did greenhouse gas emissions. Now, a whitepaper from the University of California Riverside's(U.C.R.) Center for Economic Forecasting and Development says this will not last and, instead, California’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions may be out of reach. 

Like so many annual events, California’s largest pow wow is facing cancellation this year due the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an announcement by the San Manuel Pow Wow Committee on August 4, the members say they made the decision to cancel this year's event with a heavy heart.

The pow wow was planned for October at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino. But the committee says cancellation is the most responsible decision in order to protect the health and safety of their tribe and traveling guests.

Preliminary results from a COVID-19 antibody testing study reveal that 175,000 people may have been infected with the coronavirus in Riverside County. 

The number comes from a randomized study by the Riverside University Health System released Monday.

The study of 1,726 randomly chosen residents showed 1,621 tested negative and 101 had developed COVID-19 antibodies.

Based on that data, it is estimated there have been between 118,000 and 175,400 infections in Riverside County.

The coming trend of automation has been looming over the logistics industry for a while, especially in places likes the Inland Empire, as more and more jobs are becoming automated. University of Redlands economist Johannes Moenius says COVID-19 could accelerate that trend, transforming the job market in the Inland Empire quicker than expected. 

San Bernardino County Department of Public Health

San Bernardino County is offering a free testing event for first responders and their families Friday June 12.

First responders and their families will have the opportunity to get tested at a free event in Rancho Cucamonga Friday, June 12.

The San Bernardino County sponsored event will be at the Rancho Cucamonga Sports Center from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is only open to these families and is by appointment only. No symptoms or insurance is required.

Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport officials are beginning to see optimistic signs that the worst of the travel declines may be behind us.

With the release of upcoming commercial flight schedules, officials at Ontario International Airport said in a press release they are feeling measured optimism that the worst of the travel declines from the coronavirus pandemic have passed.

MEGAN JAMERSON/KVCR

Graduation in the uncertain era of COVID-19 means postponed ceremonies and virtual congratulations. But one Inland Empire college managed to put together a drive through event to celebrate the class of 2020.

Across Riverside and San Bernardino County nearly two dozen two year and four year colleges are adapting their graduation celebrations during the coronavirus crisis.

“We may be apart for now, but we want to celebrate your many accomplishments as a Cal Poly Pomona Bronco,” said Dr. Soraya Coley.

Loma Linda University Health

An illustrated book to help children understand the coronavirus pandemic written by two Loma Linda University Medical students has become an international success.

When Devon Scott, a Loma Linda University Medical student got to thinking about how confusing the COVID-19 pandemic is for adults he realized kids like his nephews and nieces must be struggling too. So, he called up his partner and fellow med school classmate Samantha Harris and pitched her the idea of a children’s book.

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Some foods are still in short supply due to the coronavirus crisis so the California Department of Health program for Women, Infants and Children, most often referred to as WIC, has temporarily expanded food benefits. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson has more on how this will affect local participants.

Inland Empire recipients of WIC food benefits will be receiving a new California WIC card in the mail. It will allow participants to buy from an expanded food list due to some items being difficult to find during the coronavirus crisis.

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As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close for Muslims this Sunday, a Riverside mosque continues to adapt to keep the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community for Muslims, is usually a time of large gatherings and shared meals. Instead, like all other religious groups, the Islamic Center of Riverside had to adjust to COVID-19 restrictions.

"It feels really strange and awkward. Nobody imagined this sort of thing could happen.”

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Community organizations making phone calls to remind historically undercounted Inland Empire residents to take the census have adjusted their scripts to include a coronavirus welfare check. 

Italia Garcia, knows it must be strange to get a phone call from someone you don’t know asking you how you are.

“Sometimes you know, people are not very receptive to that, but for the most part people have been very very receptive to our calls," says Garcia.

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Researchers at the University of California Riverside(UCR) say the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse the Inland Empire’s decade of growth in nonprofits.

Non-profit startups have increased by 42 percent over the last decade in the Inland Empire, but it could all be at risks due to pandemic related financial hits says Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director of the Center for Social Innovation at UCR.

Some census experts worry that the coronavirus pandemic could impact the 2020 census count.

As COVID-19 spreads throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, some worry that it will make counting the two counties’ population in the 2020 census even harder.

Karthick Ramakrishnan is a professor of political science at UC Riverside and director of the Inland Empire Complete Count Committee.

He says the disruption caused by coronavirus can make people harder to count.